Native American Ceremony and Dancers Celebrate the New Algonquian Village @ Institute for Native American Studies

The Institute for American Indian Studies on 38 Curtis Road in Washington has good reason to celebrate and you are invited to join the fun at the Algonquian Village Renewal Ceremony on October 12 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

This is your chance to be one of the first people to visit the new revitalized Village consisting of wigwams and a longhouse and, to be part of a special Native American Smudging Ceremony by Darlene Kascak, Schaghticoke. This fascinating ceremony will cleanse the new longhouse and chase away evil spirits in the village. The Thunderbird Dancers, the oldest Native American Dance Company in New York that have performed all over the world will be on hand to perform dances of celebration in the village. This amazing dance troupe keeps alive the traditions, songs, and dances they have learned that would otherwise be lost. For those interested in how the village was actually constructed, Kalin Griffin, IAIS Educator and, primitive technologist will be on hand to talk about the techniques used to reconstruct the village using only stone tools.

Since the 1980s the replicated 16th century outdoor Native American Village at the Institute has been a favorite of visitors, students, teachers, and staff. Walking on a winding forest path leading to the village that was constructed to resemble the way a Native American community in Connecticut would have looked centuries ago is one of the most memorable aspects of a visit to the Institute. Entering the village, visitors feel transported back in time as they explore the longhouse, a cluster of wigwams, shelters, and gardens. One of the most intriguing aspects of the village is that it is made using only trees and bark and other things found in the natural environment using traditional tools and techniques. Today’s visitors to the Institute and those that plan to visit in the future will continue to enjoy this beautiful village and learn about the fascinating culture of the Eastern Woodland Indians.

About The Institute for American Indian Studies

Located on 15 acres of woodland acres the IAIS preserves and educates through archeology, research, exhibitions, and programs. We have a 16th c. Algonquian Village, Award-Winning Wigwam Escape, and a museum with temporary and permanent displays of authentic artifacts from prehistory to the present that allows visitors to foster a new understanding of the world and the history and culture of Native Americans. The Institute for American Indian Studies is located on 38 Curtis Road, Washington, CT.

Famous Native American Potter at the Institute for American Indian Studies

The contemporary pottery of Melvin C. Cornshucker of Cherokee descent is being featured at the Institute for American Indian Studies located on 38 Curtis Rd. in Washington CT through the month of March. Cornshucker is an award winning Cherokee potter, who works in stoneware, porcelain and raku clay.


Mel’s work can be found in collections across the United States, Europe, and Africa, and he has been invited to exhibit at museums in Illinois, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas, California, Kansas and now Connecticut. Mel also participates in annual juried shows and exhibitions including the Santa Fe Indian Market in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the Eiteljorg Indian Market in Indianapolis, Indiana, the Pueblo Grande Museum Indian Art Show in Phoenix, Arizona, the Contemporary Indian Art Show at Cahokia, Illinois, and many other notable venues. His work is widely sought in international collections as well as in the United States. His work has been exhibited and sold all over the world from Santa Fe, Arizona to South Africa.

Mel’s work is noted for being unique, functional, and aesthetic art pieces that are decorated primarily with Native American motifs. His signature designs are influenced by the generations of jewelers and weavers in his family. Mel strives to make his stoneware, porcelain and raku clay pieces visually pleasing and functional. It is his desire to create pieces that communicate the Native American spirit both past and present.

Mel, born in Oklahoma but raised in Missouri, comes from an artistic family. His father was a silversmith, his grandfather a rug weaver and his aunts are basket weavers. While attending law school at Southwest Baptist University, he became interested in a ceramics class. After completing the class, he left school to pursue his new passion of pottery making. Within a few years, he became a master potter.Mel owns and operates a studio in Tulsa, Oklahoma where he sells his work and teaches the art of pottery.

This Exhibition is in the “Four Directions” Gift Shop of the Institute for American Indian Studies and runs through March 31, 2014. There is no charge for this exhibition. The museum is open Monday through Saturday 10 am to 5 pm Sunday 12 Noon to 5 pm and the last admission 4:30 pm. For more information For area information

Native American Quill and Beadwork in Litchfield Hills

In northwest Connecticut’s Litchfield Hills, the Institute for American Indian Studies on 38 Curtis Road in Washington is presenting a quill and bead work exhibition of Chris Bullock who is of Wampanoag descent.


Since childhood, Chris has participated in Native American cultural events and has been crafting his own work for 47 years. He also provides educational programming on eighteenth century Native culture.

Chris oversees the daily operation of The Wandering Bull, LLC, a family business his parents began in 1969 that is located in Washington, New Hampshire. The Wandering Bull sells Native craft supplies, as well as vintage and antique Native art with a focus on the Northeast Woodlands.

The exhibit runs through November 30, 2013. There is no charge for this exhibition. Museum Hours: Monday through Saturday 10am to 5pm Sunday from 12 Noon to 5pm Last admission at 4:30pm. For more information and for information on Litchfield Hills Connecticut